Rhythmic Circus taps into new dance experience

It’s dancing, it’s music, it’s a circus. There’s even a little mystery thrown in when Rhythmic Circus presents “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now.”

The show will be 7:30 p.m. next Thursday, Oct. 17, at the Clark State Performing Arts Center’s Kuss Auditorium and is presented by Clark State.

While there’s no big top, performing animals or three rings, executive director and co-founder Nick Bowman said there’s an anything goes spirit to Rhythmic Circus.

“It’s made up of so many components,” he said. “It isn’t a dance group; it’s in your face and high energy. It’s live tap dancing and music, but here the musicians are as important as the dancers. It’s just an eclectic group of artists.”

Rhythmic Circus features four dancers and seven musicians, who according to Bowman, have been friends for years, some as far back as elementary school in Minnesota.

The members’ paths crossed so many times it seemed inevitable to form a group and Rhythmic Circus was formed, allowing the various talents to merge. In the last five years they’ve performed all over the country and internationally, including China and, most recently, in Scotland.

Feet Don’t Fail Me Now has a story involving a private investigator trying to solve the mystery of the origins of the Rhythmic Circus, on the mission to change the world with song and dance. The investigator and the audience are soon on a colorful adventure.

Tap dancing is a big part of the show, while the music ranges from funk to salsa and rhythm and blues, with a beat boxer thrown in for good measure.

Bowman said the artists in Rhythmic Circus are encouraged to do their own things and a lot of the show is based on their lives.

One of the unique parts of the Springfield show is it’s a preview of what New York audiences will see next month when Feet Don’t Fail Me Now makes its Broadway debut.

“As a kid, playing on Broadway and the whole idea of New York is a dream,” said Bowman. “We’re putting the finishing touches in and that includes a lot of improv.

“We make the audience a real part of the show. Rhythmic Circus is a dance show for the people — the dance crowd and the music crowd.”

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